Many of you will be heading across the country, state or city for Thanksgiving this year. We will be joining you in that venture, heading north to Washington to spend Thanksgiving with family. Being welcomed into someone's home, especially at the holidays, comes with it's own set of unspoken rules. Having the opportunity to host in years past, I like to follow these rules, as I know how one thing can throw off your days of planning! Here are a few of them to help you be the best holiday guest this season:
1. The art of the RSVP has been lost. As a guest, you might not feel it's a big deal to show up unannounced, but to the host it can throw everything awry. From the amount of table settings placed to the pounds of turkey ordered, these things are all taken into account. So first things first, RSVP! If you are planning on bringing a guest, make sure it's approved by the host.
2. According to Bon Appetite, if the hostess insists they don't need a dish of food, don't arrive with one. That being said, I believe you should never arrive empty handed! A bottle of wine, sparkling cider, bouquet of flowers or small hostess gift like a candle (*wink*) are always welcome. Below are a few of our favorite go-to hostess gifts:
#1 - Artisanal Chocolate | Alma Hazelnut Gift Set
Who doesn't love a good chocolate bar? One of our favorites is Alma Chocolate's sea salt and hazelnut bar. Chocked full of Oregon grown hazelnuts and Jacobsen flake sea salt, it's sure to please. Pictured: Hazelnut gift set
#2 - Soy Candle
A candle is a wonderful hostess gift. It can be used at the event, or enjoyed throughout the season. My go-to scent for Thanksgiving is Cranberry Orange .(Psst...don't miss our Holiday release on 11/10!)
#3 - Feeling crafty? Assemble your own flower arrangement (this is one of my favorite things to do).
You don't need to be a professional florist to assemble something beautiful. After all, it's the thought that counts, right? Grab a mason jar, I usually have a few hanging around the house for this purpose, then head to your local grocery store and pick out a few bunches of individual flowers and/or greenery. I always find you get a better value if you buy this way. For more insight into how to arrangement a beautiful bouquet, I love these tips from Flowers for Dreams. If you're not up for arranging a bouquet yourself, let a local company do it for you! In Portland, my favorite eco-florist is Emerald Petals.
3. Ask once, then give them space. As a host, it's wonderful for someone to offer a helping hand. Sometimes when you're juggling a hot dish coming out of the oven and pouring beverages for newly arrived guests, an extra hand is just what you need. That being said, if you've asked once and the offer has been declined, go enjoy yourself. You don't want to make the hostess feel like they need to find something for you to do, that only adds to their many tasks at hand. They'll ask for your help if needed.
4. Last on our list of tips on being a great holiday guest is to stay and enjoy yourself! My family loves to play games after the plates have been cleared. One of our favorites is Catch Phrase. It's a great way to get everyone interacting with each other. It also acts as a good break between dinner and dessert!
Whether you're hosting or have the pleasure of being a guest, I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with family, friends & a lot of pie.